Which surprises me. You may've noticed that I didn't cover Valve's announcements last week in the least. I figured it would be worth talking about when it actually existed in a meaningful way, and we understood a bit better what they intended - and the same was true of their freakish controller.
Track pads? Seriously? No one likes track pads. They barely work on laptops - I don't need to control my games with them. But the demonstration Valve showed off today won me over quite a bit.
What really impressed me was the speed and precision in the first-person shooters - the way the player was able to line up perfect mouse-like headshots in the final demo. But watching the movement on the controller itself, you'll notice it's not as energy-efficient as an analog stick. If the player wants to sweep the camera to the right, he swipes in that direction - but he can only swipe so far before he reaches the edge of the trackpad. In order to continue looking further in that direction, the player has to return their thumb to the middle of the trackpad and swipe to the right again - whereas on an analog stick, it would be a single movement, held, until the desired position is reached.
So I'm more sold than I was, but I'm not completely sold. The lack of tradition face buttons still freaks me out, but one Internet meme-maker provides an excellent point with this quote:
So let's just wait and see.